No Trespassing tells the story of a century of profound change in cultural ownership. It begins with late nineteenth-century Europe, exploring cultural ownership in a number of settings across both spatial and temporal divides, and concludes in today's global, knowledge-based society. Wirtén takes an interdisciplinary and international approach, using a wide array of material from court cases to novels for her purposes. From Victor Hugo and the 1886 Berne Convention, to the translation of Peter Høeg’s bestseller Smilla's Sense of Snow, Wirtén charts a history of Intellectual property rights and regulations. She addresses the relationship between author and translator, looks at the challenges to intellectual property by the arrival of the photocopier, takes into account the media conglomerate's search for content as a key asset since the 1960s, and considers how a Western legal framework interacts with attempts to protect traditional knowledge and folklore. No Trespassing is essential reading for all who care about culture and the future regulatory structures of access to it.
Taking an interdisciplinary approach, Eva Hemmungs Wirtén reveals the nineteenth-century origins of contemporary phenomena such as blogs, wikis, the "Creative Commons," as well as the "Open Source" and "Open Access" movements. Hemmungs Wirtén examines topics as diverse as the pharmaceutical uses of plants, the patenting of DNA sequences, and Disney's reworking of Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Books in order to provide a frank theoretical discussion of how nature and culture have been transformed into intellectual property.